Girls hoops: coaching changes, tourneys kick off summer

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                </div>  It would have been interesting if Mountain Pointe High School had been among the participants in the Lady Hoops Extravaganza basketball tournament over the weekend because Trevor Neider was […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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It would have been interesting if Mountain Pointe High School had been among the participants in the Lady Hoops Extravaganza basketball tournament over the weekend because Trevor Neider was there with his new Hamilton High team.

Neider just left Mountain Pointe, where he has been the head coach of the girls varsity basketball team for six seasons, to take over the Hamilton program.  The Lady X tournament gave him a chance to begin acclimating himself to a new group of players, but also provided some of the better summer competition available since many of the area’s top teams were involved.

But it would also have pitted his new team against his old team.

Neider posted five straight 20-win seasons at Mountain Pointe before falling off to a 13-16 finish this past season and lost in the first round of the state tournament.  All of those teams made it into the post-season and won two region championships along the way.

He now moves to Hamilton, which won 23 games last season and advanced to the state quarterfinals.  The Huskies return enough talent to give him a good foundation for his first season on the bench.

Mountain Pointe turned to a coach with no varsity head-coaching experience with girls’ teams, but with a decade of experience at that level as an assistant with several other programs.  James Nervis also spent a year as the boys’ varsity head coach at Tonapah Valley High School in 2010.  He comes to Mountain Pointe after three years as the boys’ freshman coach at La Joya Community High, also serving as a varsity assistant.

He signed on to be Mountain Pointe’s new freshman coach, but Neider’s resignation created an opportunity he hadn’t expected when the school tapped him to take over the varsity program.

The Lady X tournament is done, but Nervis still has plenty of summer left to find out what he has inherited.  For Neider, his new team at Hamilton, which will return quite a bit of talent, showed some of that promise in finishing third at the Lady X after falling just two points short of getting into the title game.

The No. 2-seeded Huskies beat No. 4  Cactus Shadows High School, 39-26, and Valley Christian, 41-16, before falling to tournament winner Seton Catholic in the semifinals, 43-41.  A win over top-seeded Valley Vista, 36-24, secured the third-place finish.

Seton, which was seeded third behind Hamilton and Valley Vista, is a power in Division II, finishing runner-up for the state title last year and winning it all the two seasons prior.  The Sentinels have a young team, but return most of their starters from last year.

It took a stolen pass in the final seconds of overtime in the championship game with No. 5-seeded Mesquite that enabled Seton to take home the title in the second year of the eight-team tourney held at Red Mountain High School in Mesa.  Jenn Wirth made the steal with 25 seconds left and her team down a point, and Sarah Barcello sealed the 42-41 win on a layup with two seconds left.

Wirth and Barcello shared the scoring honors for Seton, with each contributing 16 points, and Wirth was named the tournament MVP.  Mesquite, which played catch-up throughout the championship game, was led by sophomore Shaylee Gonzales with 19 points.